First, Let’s Kill All the Pigs!

30 04 2009

Egypt is killing all pigs within its borders.  The influenza A (H1N1) (the virus formerly known as 2009-H1N1 and before that as swine flu) has bits from four different strains of influenza – two are from swine, one is avian and one is human.  It’s a new strain of flu.  Killing all the pigs seems as logical as creating a no-bird zone over Egypt…and what about the human bit that’s mixed up in this new strain?  We shudder to think where that might lead.

More cases or just more confirmations?

More and more cases are being confirmed.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that there are lots of new cases every day; it does mean that the labs are starting to confirm what they have under their microscopes.

But, it is the flu, and flu spreads around.  We’ll have to wait and see how bad it gets – or how mild it stays.

What we can do.

What we can do as individuals:  keep hands clean, cover coughs and sneezes, stay at least six feet away from coughers and sneezers and stay home if we’re symptomatic. 

If you have questions that can’t be answered elsewhere, call 1-800-CDCINFO and ask them.  They’ve put dozens more people on the phones and the wait is supposed to be under 90 seconds.

A vaccine.

Plans at the moment are for the vaccine manufacturers to complete their regular production of seasonal influenza vaccine, then start manufacturing influenza A (H1N1) vaccine in the fall.  Those plans might change, if the situation remains fluid.

There will not be enough doses for everyone at the beginning, so decisions will need to be made about who should first be vaccinated.  Many forward-thinking people engaged the public on this question and the results may be found here.



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